Manchester City have given a three-year contract to Lionel Messi following his decision to leave Barcelona.
It is claimed that City are the club best placed to land the Argentine due to his personal relationship with boss Pep Guardiola, while he also shares a close bond with Argentina international teammate Sergio Aguero.
Now aged 33, the Argentine international starred under Guardiola when the latter was in charge at the Blaugrana between 2008 and 2012, with the two maintaining a personal relationship since.
According to the report, whilst City’s stance is that they will not attempt to sign the player, that will change if he becomes available as a free agent and Guardiola has already initiated the talks.
Inter are said to be a background option but their sporting project does not overly entice the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, while Paris Saint-Germain is a more attractive option but they are unlikely to be able to justify his salary due to their spend on Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.
The report adds that the options of Manchester United and Newell’s Old Boys – Messi’s boyhood club in Argentina – have been ruled out.
This follows multiple reports across Spanish and Argentinean media which state that Messi intends to leave Barcelona and will attempt to activate a clause in his deal which allows him to break his contract.
Messi’s his time at the Camp Nou now appears to be up and he is hopeful of becoming a free agent.